Reports: Pilot Escaped Without Injury, Cause of Crash Under Investigation.
A Canadian Forces CT-114 Tutor jet trainer belonging to the 431 Demonstration Squadron, The Snowbirds, crashed before an airshow performance this afternoon at approximately 1:30 PM local, 13 miles southwest of the Atlanta Motor Speedway outside Atlanta, Georgia. The pilot ejected safely.
The small, one-engine jet trainer was piloted by Canadian Forces Captain Kevin Domon-Grenier originally of St-Raymond de Portneuf, Quebec, Canada. Capt. Domon-Grenier flies the Snowbird 5, “second line-astern” position in the aerobatic jet team.
— Charlotte Cliche (@CharlotteCliche) 13 ottobre 2019
According to the official biography on the Canadian Forces Snowbirds website, Capt. Domon-Grenier, “He joined the Canadian Armed Forces as an Infantry officer in 2007. Upon completion of his combat arms training in Gagetown, New Brunswick, he was posted to the 3rd Battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment in Valcartier, Quebec at which time, he was assigned command of the 1st platoon of A company.
Snowbird 5, Capt Kevin Domon-Grenier was forced to eject from his aircraft shiortly before our performance in Atlanta this afternoon. Capt Domon-Grenier made it safely to the ground and is okay. The aircraft fell in an unpopulated area and no one was injured. pic.twitter.com/Sz1e8EVyE5
— CF Snowbirds (@CFSnowbirds) October 13, 2019
In 2009, he was deployed to Afghanistan and took command of 71D, a team of Afghan National Army mentoring team. On his return to Canada, Captain Domon-Grenier transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force as a pilot and received his wings in 2013. He was posted to 2 Canadian Forces Flying Training School in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. There, he instructed on the CT-156 Harvard II as an A Category Instructor.
Captain Domon-Grenier was posted to 431 (Air Demonstration) Squadron, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds in 2017. He brings over 1600 hours of military flying experience. Captain Domon-Grenier flies the 5 jet in the Second Line Astern position.”
There have been two other flying accidents (unrelated to today’s accident) for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds since May, 2007, those previous two accidents resulted in a total of three fatalities.
On May 18, 2007, Snowbird #2 flown by Capt. Shawn McCaughey crashed near Malmstrom AFB outside Great Falls, Montana. The cause of the fatal accident was reported as the failure of a restraining strap according to the investigation.
On October 9, 2008, Captain Bryan Mitchell died in a crash along with Canadian Forces photographer Sgt. Charles Senecal outside Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.
The CT-114 Tutor aircraft involved in today’s crash is a lightweight, one-engine, straight-wing jet trainer that first flew in 1960. The aircraft remains in service with the Canadian Forces 431 Demonstration Squadron, The Snowbirds, and with the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment.